Monday, December 14, 2015

December 15, 2015

I'm starting this week with a short story.

When my son, Tyler, was in 3rd grade he had a horrible year. He was bullied and shamed by his teacher through inaction. The week before Christmas that year, he came home and announced that he and couple of friends had come up with a new holiday - "Christmahannukwanzaka" - because they wanted to give everyone an opportunity come together and just be happy. My wish for you all is to be joyful, share joy, laugh, and embrace the childlike happiness of opening the perfect present - not taking life so seriously over the next two weeks.

Head's Up

While you're relaxing and being joyful, here's some events coming up next year.

Bentonville Parks and Recreation contacted me  with an opportunity for students to get involved with the Bentonville 1/2 Marathon Saturday, April 2, 2016. The route runs right in front of Tennie Russell, Sugar Creek, and Thomas Jefferson, and within a shoelace of Washington and Apple Glen, but all school's are invited to come up with something creative to support runners. One idea that's been tossed out is to have kids run the equivalent of a 1/2 Marathon January - March and complete the distance on race day. Could be great training for Gold Rush. Then, there's the always popular "Where you from?" map.

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Fayetteville in February as part of their World Tour 2016.

Every night this week Bentonville Public Library is showing each Star Wars movie leading up to Star Wars Day on Saturday when The Force Awakes.


There was a huge crowd Downtown for the 2015 Christmas Parade. It was great to see so many schools and students participating. They looked like they were enjoying themselves.

A group of BHS students got an opportunity for some real, relevant learning when Dr. Christopher Dougherty performed an ACL repair surgery live on stage at Arend. Select students also had hands-on experience with the tools and equipment used in orthopedic surgery.

BHS students get a hands-on look at a femoral artery.

Dr. Chris Dougherty demonstrates an ACL repair surgery live on the Arend Art Center stage. Dr. Dougherty is the team physician for the NWA Naturals and the Kansas City Royals.

BHS students work with an arthroscope.

Amazing what kids will do when given the opportunity. Mr. Killingsworth and Ms. Parker are supporting a group of young engineers who started a passion project to convert an internal combustion engine vehicle to electric power. They plan to compete in a competition in North Carolina in the spring.

Thanks to all who participated in Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code. Bentonville is definitely taking leadership on incorporating computer science into the  K - 12 curriculum. Old High Principal Jeff Wasem gives a great explanation for why exposing kids to code is so important in the clip below.

Bentonville Middle School Students Learn to Code - Story

Awesome to see so many schools participate the Bentonville Christmas Parade. 
Here's Old High and Bright Field Middle Schools Giving Clubs ready to go. These kids, did something special during the parade. They gave away socks, gloves and hats along the route.

Elm Tree Elementary's float had the elves on the vacation.
On RE Baker's float, the elves were busy working on preparing gifts.
BHS International club added some global flair to the festivities.
Give it up for the Creek! Sugar Creek is ready to roll.
Lincoln Junior High is cheering for a an excellent Winter Break.
And no parade's complete without a celebrity in a convertible.

Straight up, Good advice right here.

Here's a link to the Employee Social Media Survey results for those who are interested. Thank you to all who participated.

Grants and PD

If you have receive a grant or donation so far this school year, please fill out this form. I want to share with the School Board how much value you add beyond what you do day in and day out for students in your classrooms.

Video of the week

Thought a reminder from one of my favorite educational theorists might be a great way to send us all into a well deserved vacation.

Enjoy, be joyful, share joy, and be nice to each other. If third graders can figure it out . . .

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 8, 2015

I'm sure you've started the countdown.

Head's Up

It's Computer Science Education Week, and there's a lot of code being written by students in Bentonville Schools. Tag @Bentonville_ps in your Twitter posts so we can share them with @AsaHutchinson. Use the #ARKidsCanCode. You'll still have 112 characters left.

Take a trip around the world with Ardis Ann Choir next week when they present Christmas Around the World, Monday, December 14 at Arend starting at 5:30 pm.

Or join BHS Chamber Orchestra at one (or all) of their three performances over the next two weeks. The Orchestra is performing to raise money for their trip to the American Stringed Teachers Association national conference next March. They are only one of 12 orchestras across the nation to be invited to perform.

Tuesday, December 15, is Bill of Rights Day celebrating the ratification of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. Besides 1 and 2, can you name the rest? #civics

On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers launched a technological revolution after tinkering a bicycle into an airplane. We need to foster that kind of innovative, creative experimentation whenever possible. I wonder how they did on the ACT? (Thump, that's me jumping off a soapbox.)

It's Christmas parade time in downtown Bentonville this Saturday. The action starts at 11:00 am.

Washington Junior High is hosting Ozark Stem's FIRST Robotics competition this Saturday. There's also hours of code going all day long.


Bentonville Choral Department's NOEL performances over the weekend were exceptional. These students have incredible talent.

I had the distinct pleasure of  accompanying members of the Bentonville Police Department and BPS counselors and social workers during Shop with a Cop last Tuesday. 

If you want to see joy, participate in Shop with a Cop. It's hard to tell who's more excited the officers or the kids. 

I doubt there are many school district's that have a better relationship with their local police department than we do here in Bentonville.

Russ Daniel presented $2,000 to Mrs. Surly's class at CPE to fund their friendship bench project. Centerton Gamble has their projects posted on McLarty Daniel's Facebook page now. And Mary Mae Jones is next up in the middle of January.

Grants & PD

Here's a painless PD possibility to ponder.
This free webinar from ASCD on questioning techniques to promote discussion sounds interesting .

Arkansas Department of Education is conducting a Technology Use Survey from December 1 - December 14.Click the linked text above to complete this survey. Honestly, it takes less than 5 minutes.

Video of the week

In the recent survey sent to staff on social media use in the district, over 90% responded that safe, appropriate use of social media should be taught in school. Over 80% of the community respondents responded yes to the same question. Here's one teacher's perspective on our digital footprints.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 1, 2015

I hope you all were blessed with a joyful Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Head's Up

Sixty years ago today, Rosa Parks quietly refused to stand up and started a conversation that continues to this day.
I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. - Rosa Parks
Today is also #GivingTuesdayAR. Great day to donate to Bentonville School Foundation, the Friends of the Bentonville Library Foundation, or other non-profits that support what we do each day. Or support these Donor's Choose projects.

'Tis the season for special events. I'll do my best to let you know of everything that's happening in the District from now until Christmas Break. You can help by filling in this form.

Bentonville's newest holiday tradition comes to Arend again this year. Don't miss Bentonville Choir's NOEL program on December 4th, 5th, and 6th! The talent is amazing, the songs inspirational, and there's no better way to get into the spirit of the season. Get tickets here.

Can't make it to NOE?, Get your choral fix at the Lincoln Choir Concert on Tuesday, Decemeber 8th 
 at 6:00 pm at the Arend Arts Center.

It's A Cave Springs Christmas December 5th and there's a whole sleighful of activities throughout the day.

December 7 to 11 is Computer Science Education Week. Check out for information on how to include some computer coding into your classroom - even without devices! BPS and Ozark STEM Foundation are partnering to host Hour of Code workshops at Washington Junior High on Saturday, December 12th. Bring your own device and join us. Pre-register here 

The choirs from Fulbright, Lincoln, and Washington will perform with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, December 19th at 7:30 pm at the Arend Arts Center.


The Scott Family Amazeum is looking for creative student performers to entertain guests on the weekends during the Holidays. No performances would be for an entire day, only a couple of hours at a time. If you know of or have a class full of making and tinkering musicians contact Pody Gay, Guest Experience Manager, at or 479.696.9280.

Here's something to check out. Looks like a good site to launch some student projects that, as they say in Arkansas, might could change the world. 

Have a room full of iPads and want to get kids creating screencasts? Check out Explain Everything.

Grants and PD

If you have been awarded grants or donations, please add them to this form. Thank you.

Video of the week

I have to thank Taylor Blackwell for discovering this wonderful validation of why teachers are the most important professionals in society.

Have a great week.